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The arrival of a purple griffin, representing Cardinal Franciotti, is greeted in Lucca by virtues, a river god accompanied by naiads, and genii. Etching after P. Testa.

  • Testa, Pietro, 1611-1650.
Date
1600-1699
Reference
33531i
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view The arrival of a purple griffin, representing Cardinal Franciotti, is greeted in Lucca by virtues, a river god accompanied by naiads, and genii. Etching after P. Testa.

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Credit: The arrival of a purple griffin, representing Cardinal Franciotti, is greeted in Lucca by virtues, a river god accompanied by naiads, and genii. Etching after P. Testa. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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About this work

Description

An allegory in honour of the arrival of Cardinal Franciotti as Bishop of Lucca in 1637. He is described as "the indigo shepherd" and "the purple griffin": indigo or purple because he is a cardinal, and a griffin because the griffin appears on his shield. He is accompanied by personifications of the three theological virtues: (left to right) charity holding an infant, hope holding an anchor, and faith praying. The river god is presumably the river Serchio which runs through Bagni di Lucca (though interpreted by Bartsch, loc. cit., as the Tiber). In front of the inscription stand personifications of the four cardinal virtues: (left to right) justice, bravery, temperance and wisdom or prudence. In the lower right corner, cupids overpower a leopard: in Bartsch's interpretation of the original etching, they are playing with the Roman she-wolf

Publication/Creation

1600-1699

Physical description

1 print : etching ; image and border 36.6 x 35 cm

Lettering

All'apparir dell'indico pastore ecco che ride il suol l'onda festeggia d'innocente desio l'aria vezzeggia tutto di gioia intorno avanpa amore quà del purpureo griffo il velo augusto scorto e da fè, da carita, da speme, Serchio gl' applaude è qua gl'accorre insieme il forte il saggio il temperato il giusto. PT inventor

Creator/production credits

Lucca was the birthplace of the artist Pietro Testa

References note

E. Cropper, Pietro Testa 1612-1650 prints and drawings, Aldershot 1988, pp. 67-70, no. 36
Adam Bartsch, Le peintre graveur, Leipzig 1854-1870, XX, p. 224, no. 30 (the original etching in the opposite direction)
P. Bellini, L'opera incisa di Pietro Testa, Vicenza 1976, p.14

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 33531i

Reproduction note

The composition is in reverse to Testa's etching; the inscription has been re-etched in this copy so that it reads in the correct direction

Languages

  • Latin
  • Italian



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